Critics’ Reviews

…The volume is framed by Rod Cavalier’s foreword, which encourages a sequential reading of these thirty-seven essays, each part biographical study of a governor and part-analysis of the evolving office. Such a course, Cavalier suggests, will show the position to be no sinecure but a ‘constant’ in the flux of politics. Even so, as civics tests regularly show, it is a position in need of rehabilitation if it is to rise above being a misunderstood curiosity. The twenty-three political, historical and legal specialists who contribute the essays endorse Cavalier’s point – even if some incumbents are found to fall short of esteem … – Australian Book Review, March 2010

The governor of a state is at the apex of its system of government, assenting laws, dissolving parliaments and commissioning ministers. Yet he or she is almost always required to act on the advice of the government of the day. This paradox is a product of the states’ origins as colonies under the British Crown and their subsequent moves to responsible government. That progression is, in many ways, the theme of this book, which contains biographies of the 37 governors of NSW since 1788, with particular emphasis on their period as the vice-regal representative…. like all books from Federation Press, this one is produced with superior paper and beautiful binding so that is a pleasure to hold while reading. – Michael Sexton, Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald, March 27-28, 2010

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